As the Enforcement Directorate grills NCP leader Praful Patel over the deal signed by Patel-family's Millenium developers and Dawood's aide Iqbal Mirchi's family on Friday, Republic TV exposes, in a massive sting operation, Mirchi and D-gang's alleged links with Mumbai developers in around the same period 2007-2008. Republic has caught on tape Mumbai-based developer Jayant Soni on camera talking about Iqbal Mirchi's influence in the real estate business at that time. Soni not only spoke of his own personal meeting with Iqbal Mirchi but also revealed an alleged deal between Iqbal Mirchi and a certain “Dheeraj” for D-gang linked properties - Rabia Mansion and Samudra Mahal. He reveals how he was sidelined from the deal for a well connected man, he identifies as “Dheeraj”, in spite of having signed an MoU regarding the properties.
On camera, Soni said that Iqbal Mirchi-linked Humayun Merchant (the alleged broker) had approached him with a proposal for the above-said properties in 2005 or 2007, advising Soni to purchase the properties from the Trust. He said, "I took advice from two lawyers about who owned the property at that point of time -- Trust or Mirchi? The (court) order clearly said that Mirchi had no say in the property. The property belongs to the Trust. After that, we proceeded with the development" , indicating a nuanced network of layers set up to legally distance the properties from the D-gang on paper. He said that he struck a deal with Humayun (Merchant) that 70% of the flats that would be constructed would be his and the remaining 30% would be his firm's.
He then explained how his deal was abruptly ended when a certain Dheeraj had made a larger offer and then claimed that they had signed the deal with the Trust. Soni said, "Before the MoU was done, we didn't want to do the project saying there is no finance. They (the broker, Humayun)asked 'What's your problem? You don't have finance? I will provide you with a financer. I have good contacts in London. He will invest'. So I said, 'Okay let's go to London and meet.' There, he directly got me in touch with Iqbal Mirchi. He said the property belongs to Iqbal Mirchi." He then revealed that 2-4 tenancies had been booked in Soni's name for Rs. 50 crores. He added, "I had demanded Rs. 50 crore. According to the current rates, I decided to go ahead with this rate at the time. He must have been told (unclear) and then he began to threaten us. He asked us to leave the property."
Talking about he was sidelined over the deal when Dheeraj came into question, "We continued to have discussions and then stopped after a while. Then this Dheeraj from DHFL... their company came in. So then we remained silent." He said that Iqbal Mirchi contacted him again saying, "He called once or twice, saying that I should get out of this." When asked whether Sunblink was financing Mirchi, he said, " Yes, around Rs.225 crores."
Revealing more on Sunblink and DHFL, Soni said, "Yes. Belongs to Dheeraj and the other is Rakesh Dewan's (Wadhawan). The one in the HDIL case. Both are brothers." On being asked if the Dheeraj he had mentioned had alleged links with Iqbal Mirchi he said, "There would be a broker, but whether they have links or not, I don't know much. Most of the property dealings that happen have brokers. Brokers have a role in this. And at that time, these people -- Dewan housing -- ruled." Currently, as per reports, ED investigation has revealed that a nonbanking financial company (NBFC) had started giving loans to Sunblink from 2010. The ED believes this money — Rs 2,186 crore — was allegedly routed overseas by Sunblink into the accounts of Iqbal Memon, also known as Iqbal Mirchi, as per reports.
He further revealed that DHFL had properties in Lonavala, Juhu Scheme. When asked about the alleged political links of the certain Dheeraj he had mentioned, he said," He is friends with every political party". He stated that the 30% which he was promised as per the original agreement has not been received yet.